Martin Guptill Shines as New Zealand Level 2-Match T20 Series against South Africa

August 17 00:11 2015

guptillNew Delhi, Monday, August 17 – New Zealand won the toss and the match against South Africa a day ago, ending the 2-match T20 International by equalizing it. Kiwis opt to bat first and put a challenging total on the board in 20 overs. What a start by Martin Guptill, who before falling short to Farhaan Behardien in 12th over but after dismissals of Captain Kane Williamson at 25 runs (4 x 4 and 6 x 1) and Tom Latham at 3 runs, pocketed 60 runs that were scored brilliantly in just 35 balls. His innings comprised 6 boundaries and 3 biggies.

Grant Elliott was the next man to depart after getting his legs before wicket on a delivery by Aaron Phangiso. The batsman struck a couple of fours and played a knock of 20 runs.  Luke Ronchi, the wicketkeeper-batsman from New Zealand had to go back to the pavilion after falling short to David Wiese at 6 runs. Colin Munro was caught by AB de Villiers in Kagiso Rabada after contributing 18 runs. But his contribution brought huge difference as it comprised three boundaries and a four.  James Neesham hoarded 28 runs in 19 balls, together with three 4s and a biggie prior the same bowler compelled him to depart. Nathan McCullum and Adam Milne were not out at 1 run and 10 runs, respectively.

For the loss of seven wickets, 177 runs were attained that can’t be said a tough target when Proteas stand in front as the rivals. Rabada was the leading wicket taker while rest, except Kyle Abbott, got 1 wicket each. Chasing the target turned nightmare after Morne van Wyk was dismissed by McClenaghan  at 3 runs. Hashim Amla sent the ball into the fences twice and attained 14 runs in 13 balls but was out soon. AB de Villiers, the South African skipper, was exhibiting the kind of play he usually does and earned 15 runs quickly thanks to two 4s and a six but McCullum ended his impressive stint in next to no time.

Rilee Rossouw showed some strength and struck four 4s. he was on the way to stabilize wobbly innings of South Africa but then Ish Sodhi was brought back on attack to prove once again that bowling change may do a trick. The 25-year-old Rossouw scored 26 runs in 23 balls, inclusive of four 4s. Farhaan Behardien maintained a strike rate of 133.3 and played a knock of 36 runs in 27 balls. 3 4s and a huge six were highlights of innings. The crowd turned silent for a while when McCullum got his wicket.

David Miller showed some efforts and played an innings of 29 runs in 20 balls, together with a couple of fours and a six. However, before he could have gotten further, McClenaghan sent him back. The margin was getting bigger as David Wiese and Aaron Phangiso were dismissed at 2 runs by Ish Sodhi and James Neesham, respectively. Kagiso Rabada was not out at 5 runs while Kyle Abbott at 9 runs. Just 4 extras were bowled by the Kiwis, who were thrilled after the victory, which enabled them heave a sigh of relief as the T20 series was leveled by 1-1.

The 32-run victory on the opponents was cheering for the tourists while a tad disappointing for the host, who won the first one by 6 wickets but lost 2nd one at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on Sunday, August 16. Man of the match and man of the series awards were given to Guptill for being outstanding throughout the shortest format.  A fresh start is now eyed by the two squads in 3-match One-Day Internationals, which is to kick off on August 19. Winning the toss and apt decisions by the skippers will play pivotal role. Support for home-side is probable to be huge. Audiences are curious to see interesting face-offs between the two countries that presented wonderful example of sportsmanship during 1st semi-final of 2015 World Cup.